Nursing Diaries (Part Five)

Keeping My Milk Supply Up

One of my biggest concerns as a nursing mom has been keeping my milk supply going strong.  I’ve spoken with so many moms who say they were unsuccessful at breastfeeding because they ran out of milk.  I didn’t want that to happen to me, so I consulted my doctor for advice.  Basically, I researched my butt off.  Here’s what I’ve been doing to keep my supply going.
1)   When I told my daughter’s pediatrician that I was going to breastfeed, he told me to drink 4 oz. of water before, during, and after each nursing session.
As soon as we returned home from the hospital, I sent my hubby out to get several gallons of water.  I kept it close by throughout my maternity leave.  There were times when I felt like I would pop from drinking so much liquid.  But I eventually got used to consuming all that H2O.  The doc also mentioned that I shouldn’t give my baby water for the first 6 months.  So, taking in water myself meant my baby and I both stayed hydrated.
2)   I’ve also maintained a healthy diet by taking in about 500 extra calories a day.  The added bonus is that breastfeeding helps me burn a lot of calories too.  (Every now and again I hit the gym, so eating more is sometimes necessary).
3)   Plus the more I nurse, the more milk I produced.
4)   In addition, I’ve made it a point to pump at work, which also aids in milk production.
5)   There are plenty of cookie recipes that include the ingredient brewer’s yeast that’s believed increase milk supply.  Some women even swear by Fenugreek.  I haven’t got around to trying those sweet treats, and I didn’t notice much of a difference when I took Fenugreek.  But maintaining a healthy diet, nursing and pumping, as much as I can has done the trick for me.  It’s all about dedication baby!
6) Last but not least…whenever I feel my milk supply gets depleted, I brew a cup of Mother’s Milk. Within a couple of days, I notice a big increase in milk flow.
Following these simple tips has helped me through my breastfeeding experience.  It’s been over a year and I’m still going strong!  How have you increased your milk supply?
Weather Anchor Mama


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  1. says

    Congratulations on keeping up with breastfeeding! I’m still going with Nia at 15 mths but am seriously ready to wean. Patience is definitely a virtue! Staying hydrated and fed works for me in keeping up my supply. I get ravenous especially in the mornings. She likes to nurse nonstop from about 5a.m.-7a.m. and it wears me out!

  2. says

    Hey Quiana!
    I totally know what you mean, Princess likes to nurse mostly at night and in the mornings. She’s fine at daycare. But if I’m around, she wants boobies, especially when she’s cranky and/or tired. She’s 15 months too. I said I would wean at 1 yr, but still going strong. We’ll see how it goes. Good luck! Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. Heather Fields says

    I came across your blog, and am very thankful for it! I’ve been nursing my daughter for 10 months now. She too is biracial. 🙂 I struggle with production issues. I’ve been on Fenugreek and Metaclopramide together (smelled like syrup (Fenugreek), attracted bees, and was paranoid- a side affect of the Meta), drank Mother’s Milk tea, had Blessed Thistle and another precribed med Domperidone. It only increased one ounce and nothing more so every 3 hours, I only pumped 3 ounces. My daughter was born 8.2 but last week being 9.5 months old, she weighs 15.9 She had only gained 7 ounces from her 4th to 6th month so she has been tested for celiac disease with the tests being non-conclusive. Currently, her gastro desires for her to be gluten-free until the age of 1. We have 2 more months of this. I do admit I give her some gluten every now and then because she is gaining apporopriately now, but just doesn’t catch up (eventually I know she will). She has no problem developmentally. I did not know I had a supply issue, because she had plenty of soiled and wet diapers. I believe her weight issue was due to my lack of milk supply and her tummy just got used to the amount. Her pediatrician told us to double up on the solids, and we have been. She has been gaining fine now. We’ll see what happens with the celiac issue. In November, we’ll reintroduce gluten entirely and at some point get a biopsy- at least that is the plan. I desire to give my baby exactly what she needs, but through all of this effort, I have not succeeded to the level I wish I could have. She still wakes up about 3 times a night either for comfort or to drink some. I hope my next time around will be better. For the first 2 months of her life, she was constantly on my breast and around the 2nd week, I almost had mastitis. For a couple days, she couldn’t drink from my breasts because I was in too much pain even if I moved. So at one point I produced a lot, but after that, I guess she wasn’t getting enough even though she was on it all the time. How old is your daughter, and are you still nursing her? I plan to wean in January. She’ll be 14 months.

  4. says

    Sorry to read about your supply issues. Princess is 2 and we went cold turkey on her second birthday. Another thing that was important for my supply and hormones was prenatal vitamins. It sounds like you’re doing all the right things. Kudos to you!!:) Breastfeeding can be challenging. I think I was successful because I stayed committed. I never wanted to throw in the towel, even though my daughter had digestive issues (like your little one). I’m so glad that I stuck with it. I went gluten free, dairy free for one year. She first had a taste of dairy on her birthday. We bought her an ice cream cake. Now she loves cheese, but never liked cows milk. She does, however, enjoy rice milk. Even though she’s better, I try not to go crazy with too much dairy.

  5. Heather Fields says

    So is she gluten-free for the rest of her life now then? I haven’t had prenatal vitamins in a while. I should get on them again. Also, I wonder about losing weight because breastfeeding has not helped me lose weight at all. I’ve had blood tests for hormonal/thyroid issues, but everything came back fine. Oct 24th I have surgery for my umbilical hernia. From my understanding, Arayah can have milk a few hours after surgery but I think I have to pump first. I had actually never heard about drinking 4 oz water before, during, and after. I’m going to try that. 🙂

  6. says

    Yea, the pediatrician recommended it. I drank about a gallon a day on maternity leave, and I kept up with consuming water when I went back to work. It help me stay hydrated and also gave my supply a boost.

    I know it sucks to not see results when it comes to the scale. I tried not to think about it. I think that was a major reason why I haven’t got back on. I know it would stress me out. lol. I love that name- Arayah!

    Have you thought about freezing your supply. When I wasn’t nursing, I would pump and save. That way she would still be getting breast milk. Also, if you doc places you on meds after the surgery, Arayah would have back up breast milk.

  7. says

    I have about 7-2 oz containers of milk for after surgery. One of my friends who is a lactation consultant says it will be fine for Arayah to be back on the breast a few hours after surgery, but I will have to pump the first time. Whenever I am able, I pump some but not a lot. I’ve never had more than 10-2 oz containers.